According to reports, the NBA will being introducing 2-inch by 2-inch advertisements on the shoulders of jerseys during the 2013-2014 season. And according to my graphics editing program, that is a 2×2 square. (You might get a different measurement, depending on monitor resolution settings and other technology nonsense, but the point stands that this is about as big as the ads will be.) Somehow, I think we will be able to live with this, since the only thing that is really bugging me is that this image is a different width than every other image and video on this site.
But hey, maybe you hate the idea of ads appearing on jerseys at all. That is understandable, what with slopes being slippery and all that. If that’s the case, better buy your replica jerseys soon, because you won’t be able to get get an ad-free one in the future. From the AP:
“The view is, that the teams would need a significant time; one, to sell the patch; and number two, for Adidas to manufacture the uniforms, because the patch that would be on the players’ uniforms would also appear on the jerseys at retail,” said Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, who is handling the uniform change.
That’s right — just like fans of every soccer team in the world, you’ll soon be buying NBA jerseys with ads on them. The potential for hilarity is huge, depending on the sponsors that each team secures, and it’s basically inevitable that a league like the NBA wouldn’t put ads on their uniforms, especially when you consider that has already happened in the WNBA and D-League, both of which are league properties. These owners aren’t going to pass up that kind of money.
As you might expect, Kevin Arnovitz nails it:
Once you get past aesthetics, it’s difficult to find a rationale against jersey sponsorships. Shorter contracts and increased player movement have given more weight than ever to the Seinfeldian notion that NBA jerseys are just laundry, vessels that carry the true product — the collective talents of the guys playing the games, jamming the ball, blocking the shots, draining the 3s. If a corporate logo doesn’t compromise those skills and actually strengthens the fortunes of the league, then it’s an idea that should be carried to fruition. [..]
Fans who don’t like the patch will have one recourse: They can refrain from buying those jerseys. More likely, that 4-square-inch patch will fade into the background because, when a sport is healthy, the event takes center stage.
I’m sure we’d all prefer it if there were no ads on our favorite teams’ uniforms, but with $100 million a season hanging in the balance, that’s not going to happen. It’ll be strange at first — though with the ads being as little as that picture up top, probably not as strange as we’re expecting — but in a couple years time, we won’t even notice these patches.
Of course, as soon as that happens, they’ll put huge ones across the front and we’ll end up cheering for the Qatar Foundation. So it goes.